Adding ace doesn’t seem likely

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As night fell in the west Tuesday, Roy Halladay remained a Toronto Blue Jay, Cliff Lee remained a Cleveland Indian, and Tony Reagins remained a general manager in pursuit of both, even though the Angels’ chances of acquiring either ace seem remote.

“I’ve had extensive conversations with several teams,” Reagins said Tuesday of his search for a front-of-the-rotation starter. “If there was a match, we’d have a deal done. Right now, there hasn’t been a fit.”

According to reports, the Blue Jays asked the Angels for shortstop Erick Aybar, a big league starter -- Jered Weaver or Joe Saunders -- infield prospect Brandon Wood and a top prospect such as double-A pitcher Trevor Reckling or outfielder Peter Bourjos.


Cleveland is looking for multiple pitching prospects for Lee, the 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner, but an Indians source indicated to the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the Angels, who have a shortage of high-end pitching prospects, aren’t a good trade partner for the Indians.

Still, when asked if he has gotten to a point where he is moving on from his pursuit of an ace, Reagins said, “No.”

There is a slim chance the Angels, if shut out on Halladay and Lee, could pursue a second-tier starter such as Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo or Aaron Harang, Arizona’s Jon Garland, Pittsburgh triple-A pitcher Ian Snell or, possibly, Seattle left-hander Jarrod Washburn.

The Angels also remain in the market for a late-inning reliever but were apparently rebuffed in their attempts to acquire San Diego closer Heath Bell and Oakland setup man Michael Wuertz.

Among the other relief targets are Toronto’s Scott Downs and Brandon League, Baltimore’s George Sherrill and Arizona’s Chad Qualls.

“There are various scenarios we’re working on,” Reagins said. “Can something materialize? Possibly.”


Staying the course

Ervin Santana, who signed a four-year, $30-million deal in February, has been ineffective after missing the first six weeks of the season because of a sprain -- or slight tear -- in his elbow.

An All-Star last season, the right-hander is 3-6 with a 7.29 earned-run average in 11 starts. He has lost some velocity on his fastball, which hit 96 mph regularly in 2008, and his command has been spotty.

But under no circumstances, Manager Mike Scioscia said, have the Angels considered shutting down Santana now and having him undergo elbow surgery to improve his chances of returning to full strength in 2010.

“We’re seeing his stuff improve, and there is no indication that he is not going to throw the ball in the future like he did in the past,” Scioscia said. “If this was something that could have been fixed, it would have been done two or three months ago.

“I don’t think you’d see a guy pitch at 91-94 mph if this wasn’t healed up.”

Case closed

Brian Fuentes, who had not given up a run or blown a save in 19 appearances since June 4, declined to comment about the smattering of boos he received at Angel Stadium after giving up four runs in the ninth inning of Monday night’s 8-6 loss to Cleveland.

“I don’t want to talk about that,” the closer told reporters before Tuesday night’s game. “I know you guys have a job to do, but I don’t even want to talk about [Monday] night. It wasn’t a good game. . . . Today is a new day.”


Times staff writer Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.